Just call yourself Lisa, because this piece of gaming trivia is about to tear you apart: According to Kill Screen, entertainment website Newgrounds.com once created an unofficial video game tribute to the best worst movie ever made, Tommy Wiseau’s The Room (2003). The game was actually released in 2010, but new fans of the cult classic might require a brief introduction to the hilarious 2D homage.
If you’ve seen The Room, you know it tells the story of Johnny, a banker in San Francisco whose fiancée, Lisa, is cheating on him with his best friend, Mark. The melodramatic film is filled with plot holes, absurd twists, production gaffes, stilted acting, and so-bad-they’re-good catch phrases (“It seems like you’re the EXPERT, Mark!”). Using a point-and-click interface, The Room: The Game lets you navigate Johnny’s day-to-day world as presented in the movie, following him as he purchases a gift for Lisa, goes to work, and enjoys a romantic evening at home.
This begs the question: Why can’t gamers play as Lisa, Mark, or even their awkward sidekick, Denny? “The film mostly revolves around Johnny so it made sense to make him the playable character,” the game’s creators said in a statement quoted by Kill Zone. (Newgrounds founder Tom Fulp programmed the game, and animator Chris O'Neill and Newgrounds staffer Jeff Bandelin provided the soundtrack and illustrations.) “It was a fun exercise to capture the story of the film while always keeping the player in the role of Johnny.”
And even though you likely laughed your way through The Room during your first viewing (and OK, let’s be honest, the second and third ones, too), Newgrounds' game offers viewers an exercise in empathy. Today, Wiseau bills the film as a “black comedy”—but even though most viewers focus on the “comedy” part, he originally intended for it to be sad.
“When you watch the film you can detach yourself from Johnny but the game forces you to BECOME Johnny and experience the events of the film through his eyes,” the game’s creators said.
That’s a very interesting story, Newgrounds (and Mark).
You can play The Room: The Game for free over at Newgrounds.com.
[h/t Kill Screen]
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